Urologist Sij Hemal was hoping to drink a glass of champagne and take a nap on a plane from Paris to New York, but instead helped deliver a healthy baby boy named Jake during the flight.
The second-year urology Cleveland Clinic resident immediately went into doctor mode when Air France flight attendants asked if there were any doctors on the flight to assist Toyin Ogyndipe, 41, who had gone into labor a week early.
Together with Dr Stefanie Ortolan, a pediatrician from France, the pair managed to deliver baby Jake after just 30 minutes of pushing. The doctor told Cleveland 19 News during an interview on Monday that he did not know that she was pregnant.
He said the mom’s bump was covered with a blanket.
“As a urologist, I was excited. I thought it was kidney stones, but later found out that she was 39 weeks pregnant.
“She was travelling with her four year old daughter to visit family in New York,” he said during the interview.
Dr Hemal said there was no time to land the plane and the best decision was to deliver the baby in the air. Dr Hemal used a shoestring to tie and cut the umbilical cord for baby Jake.
“This has been a team effort and certainly a flight I will never forget,” he told a news anchor on Cleveland 19 News. Upon arrival at JFK, Toyin and her children were transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York.
For his efforts, Air France delivered a travel voucher and a bottle of champagne. Dr Hemal told Daily Mail that he was thankful for the training he got from Cleveland Clinic, which helped prepare him to handle emergencies and to anticipate the worst.
Sources: Cleveland 19 News/ Daily Mail.